This BBQ tofu pizza features sweet and savory flavors from brown-sugar-based BBQ sauce and salt and pepper tofu! It's the perfect vegetarian addition to pizza night and can be made using homemade or storebought pizza dough.
This vegetarian pizza features a BBQ sauce base, lightly sauteed red onions, salt and pepper tofu, and a blend of mozzarella and Parmesan.
If you've never tried BBQ sauce on pizza before, it's super flavorful! Yes, it's a little sweet, but the sweetness from the BBQ sauce is balanced out by the salty baked tofu and cheese.
Ingredients and substitutions
- Pizza dough: I use my homemade pizza dough recipe but this pizza is easy to make using storebought pizza dough (I love the ready-made dough in the bakery section at Publix!).
- BBQ sauce: Choose a sweet brown-sugar-based BBQ sauce; think Sweet Baby Ray's or my sweet BBQ sauce recipe.
- Tofu: Extra firm or super firm work best here. You can get away with using medium firm tofu because the tofu loses moisture while baking, but I prefer extra or super firm because they result in a denser texture.
- Red onions: Just half of a large red onion is enough to balance out the sweetness of the BBQ sauce.
- Cheese: I have made this recipe with Quattro Formaggio, Parmesan, shredded mozzarella, and no cheese. A combination of Parmesan and mozzarella is my favorite, and both are easy to find made without animal enzymes if that matters to you. When I make a vegan version of this recipe without cheese, I add a bunch of nutritional yeast before serving.
How to make
The full ingredient list and instructions are found in the recipe card below. Use this step-by-step photo guide as a reference.
Unless you plan to make homemade pizza dough, making the tofu is the most time-intensive part of this pizza. Good news: the tofu does not need to be pressed.
Make the tofu
Dice tofu into 1" cubes, then transfer to a medium mixing bowl. Toss with olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
Transfer the tofu to a parchment-paper lined baking sheet (optional, makes clean-up easier). Leave space between each piece of tofu.
Bake at 350F for 20 minutes. The tofu will be starting to turn golden but won't be quite done.
Assemble the pizza
Roll out the pizza dough on a piece of parchment paper or lightly floured surface. It should be about 12 inches wide. Leave the dough thicker at the edge for a thick-crust BBQ tofu pizza (like in the pictures) or roll out more for a thin crust pizza.
I like to sprinkle cornmeal on the pizza stone before adding the dough. I've read that this is what they do at Mellow Mushroom (unknown if this is true), but it creates a nice barrier and adds a little bit of texture to the crust.
Use a spatula or the back of a spoon to spread out BBQ sauce on the dough. Leave the outer 1 inch free from BBQ sauce.
Top with half of the shredded cheese and half of the tofu and onions. Add the remaining cheese, tofu, and onions. This makes it so that each layer is cheesy instead of having a cheesy base with uncovered toppings.
Optional: Brush the crust with olive oil and sprinkle with garlic salt.
Bake on the middle oven rack at 500F for 12-14 minutes. The pizza is ready when the crust is golden. I like to lift up the edge of the pizza little and check the underside to make sure that it is firm and cooked through.
Remove from the oven and let rest for a few minutes before slicing. Enjoy!
Pizza making tips
- Use a pizza stone: This is the best way to bake a golden, firm pizza in a standard oven. I found my Pampered Chef pizza stone at a thrift store, but I've also used metal pizza rounds with success. Do note that most pizza stones need to be preheated with the oven to avoid cracking. I recommend prepping the pizza on a piece of parchment paper and transferring it to the stone when ready to bake.
- Cook at high heat: Crank your oven up as high! Or at least to 500F, which is as high as most home ovens go. High heat creates a firm outer crust and soft inside.
- If making my homemade dough recipe, make the entire recipe and freeze half for later.
- Make it vegan: Shredded dairy-free mozzarella works and vegan parm both work very well here.
- In the past, I've made BBQ tofu pizza with caramelized onions. I 100% recommend doing this if you have a little bit of extra time or if you just happen to have some caramelized onions on hand (lucky you).
Storage and reheating
- Leftovers: Keep leftover pizza refrigerated for 3-4 days. I have not tried freezing this pizza but would love to hear if you give it a try down below in the comments.
- Reheating: I love reheating pizza in my air fryer. I heat it at 350F for just 4-5 minutes and the crust turns super crisp and the cheese gets even more golden. The pizza can also be reheated in the oven at 375F for 7-9 minutes.
- Make ahead: The tofu can be made up to 24 hours in advance. I don't recommend assembling the pizza in advance.
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Vegetarian BBQ Tofu Pizza
- Pizza stone optional
- 1 12 inch pizza dough see note #1
- 14 ounce extra firm tofu drained and diced into 1 inch cubes
- 1 teaspoon olive oil more as needed
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ large red onion sliced; about 1 cup
- 2-4 tablespoons coarse cornmeal optional
- 1 cup sweet BBQ sauce ideally brown sugar-based
- ¾ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- ¾ cup Parmesan cheese
- ¼ cup basil sliced thinly
- garlic salt optional, for the crust
- Preheat the oven to 400F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper (optional).
- If making homemade pizza dough, prepare according to recipe instructions. Otherwise, remove pizza dough from the fridge and let come to room temp while preparing the tofu.
- Add diced tofu to a medium mixing bowl. Toss with olive oil, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
- Spread out the tofu on the sheet pan. Bake at 400F for 20 minutes, until tofu starts to turn golden. It does not need to be cooked completely as it will continue cooking on the pizza.
- Meanwhile, heat a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Drizzle with just enough olive oil to coat. Once hot, add the sliced red onion. Saute for 3-4 minutes, until just softened.
- Adjust the oven temp to 500F. If using a pizza stone, preheat the stone with the oven. Otherwise, prepare a pizza pan or sheet pan.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pizza dough into a 12 inch round, leaving the dough thicker at the edges for a thick crust pizza. Optional: brush the crust with olive oil and sprinkle with garlic salt.
- Sprinkle cornmeal across a pre-heated pizza stone or sheet pan. Transfer the pizza dough to the stone/sheet pan.
- Use a spoon or spatula to spread the BBQ sauce evenly across all of the pizza, except the outer 1 inch. Top with half of the cheese, then half of the onions and tofu. Add remaining cheese, onions, and tofu.
- Bake at 500F for 12-14 minutes, until the crust is golden and the cheese is melted.
- Let the pizza rest 2-3 minutes before slicing. Garnish with fresh basil and enjoy!
- Dairy-free option: I have made this recipe with a vegan mozzarella/Parmesan combo and with no cheese. If using no cheese, I recommend adding a hearty sprinkling of nutritional yeast after baking.
- Nutrition facts are an estimation and were calculated using my recipe for pizza dough.